Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Can Our Faith Be Shipwrecked?

Image courtesy of Hans Olav Lien, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

Charles Templeton (1915 –2001) was once a very famous evangelist who preached to tens of thousands. But he lost his faith while studying at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he learnt about evolution and millions of years.

Before his death he wrote a book entitled Farewell to God: my reasons for rejecting the Christian faith (1995).

Some Christians believe that a genuine believer can never lose his faith. A few Scripture passages seem to support this view, for instance these:

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10: 27–28).

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38 – 39)

While it is true that no one can snatch us from God’s hand, He has given us free will. We can walk away from Him, as the following verses show:

Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1).

We cannot abandon something we don’t have.

Holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and thereby shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:19 – 20).

Time and again the New Testament exhorts us to cling on to the Lord, to fight the good fight so that we might overcome and inherit God’s eternal Kingdom.

Even to the faithful Philadelphian church He said:

I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Revelation 3:11).

Scripture verses from the Berean Study Bible